Sunday, April 20, 2008

Is the Friendly Ticket Program really Student Friendly?

A few weeks ago, the Diamondback published an article regarding the DOTS Friendly Ticket program. Apparently, the initiative can no longer be sustained by other DOTS fees, and they are now looking to increase student transportation fees to cover this new service.

Most of the people receiving these "friendly tickets" are visitors, not Maryland students. It doesn't seem to make sense that a program which really does not benefit students would be funded BY student fees.

A comment on the Diamondback website suggests more visitor parking, an issue that has continually come up over the years. They also suggest visitor day passes. As long as there was a way of regulating who was able to use them and where, this could be another great solution.

Luckily the ticket appeals process is fairly simple, I don't think any alumni or other visitors would feel especially inconvenienced in having to spend 10 minutes writing a letter and putting it in the mail.

While in theory, it is a nice idea to allow visitors one "freebie," since it is no news to any of us that it is difficult to find parking on this campus, DOTS should look to other options to fund this program if they plan on continuing it.

Student fees should pay for student services, not for a program that does NOT directly benefit them.

Alex Beuchler

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